YES 4G. The story so far.

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Just a few months back, we witnessed the launch of Malaysia’s new wireless broadband service, powered by the multinational conglomerate YTL Corp’s subsidiary YTL Communications. Labelled YES 4G, the WIMAX-based broadband service promises to bring Internet connectivity to the masses. Yes, Internet for everyone.

Some of us had the privilege to taste and test the service pre-launch, and also a chance to pre-register our YesIDs and 018 voice numbers about a week before the actual launch. So launch it did, and with much fanfare too, as expected from a corporate entity as massive as YTL Corp. Together with the hype of the launch both offline and online also came a plethora of issues and controversy – some tiny, nagging annoyances up to huge hiccups that plagued users and web visitors alike.

Is it really 4G? Or really 3G+1?

Beyond the marketing hype, there has been debate over the usage of the term ‘4G’. The then questioned ITU specifications was that data throughput rates must be at least 100Mbps download. As you know there are two rivaling ‘4G’ technologies – WIMAX2, and LTE 2. YES 4G claims its network speeds are 3-5 times faster than 3G, which puts it in the range of 35Mbps, if we were to presume that the max throughput of 3G (HSDPA) is 7.2Mbps. YTL Comms CEO Wing Lee went on record to say that YES 4G cannot be expected to be dictated by unconfirmed international specifications and that “4G is what it is”. The future of high speed wireless Internet is here.

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The Bad and the Ugly

Activation problems, security issues, denial of service attacks. These were just a few of many issues that plagued YES 4G post-launch. Naysayers and skeptics had a field day while frustrated customers (yours truly included) attempted to activate accounts online. The YES 4G site was reportedly getting 300,000 hits per second from DDoS attacks that brought the site down to its knees.

Like many others, I gave up after 36-48 hours of trying to load the homepage as the site continued to suffer performance issues. YES 4G’s customer relationship team on Twitter was certainly challenged with round-the-clock bombardment of complaints. Adding salt to the wound was security issues and system problems, including emails containing plaintext user passwords.

While I observed  the myriad conversations online (and occasionally participated in posting feedback/comments) I generally refused to be overly judgmental and critical, preferring to let the hype die down and for YES 4G to find its footing. The YES 4G site only properly went back up over a week after the launch.

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  • Jerry

    as the newest player in the broadband industry…YES has the advantage of not making the mistakes that existing broadband providers have made. However, it would be seemingly unfair to say that YES is the “saviour” or the “revolutionary” broadband provider in the market. The only difference so far is the payment method. P1 has the postpaid packages and YES’s billing method is like using electricity, (you pay for how much you use). It is definitely right to say that none of these plans from these companies benefit “heavy-users”. However, i would feel that it would be better to use as much and still have slow speed yet connected to the internet end the end of the quota, instead of getting disconnected the moment the quota limit is reached.

    • vernieman

      I think both Yes and P1 have their own strategy both in implementation of their network and their pricing and positioning. Success will depend on execution and how well they fill the niches and markets. Both have their pros and cons. IMHO I think having more players is great for consumers. Yes is growing very quickly and I’ve always been a fan of the quirky, underdog P1 too. The near future is even more exciting. We should be seeing some very interesting plans and devices. Stay tuned!

  • terry

    great post. i am a huge yes 4g fan myself.. and definitely believe that this is the future! 3g really sucks ass now.. and you’re right, the Valuepacks are amazing. people don’t believe it but Yes is so much cheaper and value for money, and I get 14Mbps at home 🙂

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